Monday, June 30, 2008

Head Scratcher: 6/30/08

I was surprised to see Jerry Manuel take Carlos Delgado out in the eighth inning of Sunday's game for defensive purposes. I'd have to look at his UZR, but I don't think Delgado is as bad as a defensive first baseman as his reputation suggests. Although his range is limited, Delgado seems to do a very good job scooping balls in the dirt. Regardless, using a defensive replacement for Delgado wasn't a bad move, if for no other reason than it showed Manuel was more concerned about winning a game than he was about Delgado's feelings. The previous manager seemed to have an issue with that.

That said, using Fernando Tatis is a defensive replacement WAS a bad move, because Fernando Tatis is not a skilled defensive first baseman. He's not really a first baseman at all - Tatis has made only nine appearances there in his major league career and has never played there in the minor leagues. So what the hell was Manuel thinking when he gave this quote to Newsday?

"I think, as a manager, that Tatis is a tremendous first baseman and I don't think it would be fair to the team if I didn't do that [use him as a defensive substitute]," Manuel said.

Say what? Does Manuel really think Tatis can field first base the way Keith Hernandez did, just because he wears the same number Mex wore? Unless he is some sort of fielding savant, Fernando Tatis is a barely competent first baseman who probably is not a defensive upgrade from Carlos Delgado, as incredible as that may sound. Andy Phillips was on the bench and certainly would've made more sense than Tatis in that situation, but for some reason the Mets think he's a left fielder now.

Fernando Tatis at first. Andy Phillips in left field. Marlon Anderson on a major league roster. Hilariouser and hilariouser.


tim said...

Gotta call you out. His range at first has been above average, he's actually made two outstanding stops there. The two errors charged to him were throwing errors where the pitcher couldn't either catch the ball or find first base. Phillips and Anderson I understand, but Tatis was a decent third baseman and one could reason he can be an adequate first baseman.

Judge Roughneck said...

He's played 16 innings at 1B this season. That's hardly enough time to make an informed judgment on Tatis's defensive skill at first base, let alone to determine he is "tremendous" as Manuel did. Just because you remember two "outstanding" stops (which seems unlikely, considering he only has one assist) doesn't mean he can competently field the position.

tim said...

Yes he did have two outstanding stops, one was a failed assist when Pedro couldn't find the base.